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Cold-Brewed Vanilla Coffee Syrup
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The most popular use for coffee syrup is coffee milk, the official state drink of Rhode Island. But its rich taste and texture adds more possibilities to the mix. Pour it over ice cream, add it to a cocktail, or use on French toast. This syrup is an original recipe that adds Madagascar vanilla beans for an extra layer of richness. “We split and scrape the beans ourselves,” the coffee shop’s manager Carissa Albergaria said. “There are flecks of actual vanilla bean in the syrup.”
Coffee syrup made with simple ingredients and quality coffee beans was an idea that came out of Dave Lanning's love of java. A Rhode Island native, craft coffee roaster and owner of Dave's Coffee, Lanning was looking for a way to branch out with coffee products after years of roasting his own beans. He and his wife realized there was no coffee syrup available on the market that didn’t include artificial ingredients, so using their coffee expertise, they set out to be the first to create it. A real series of trial and error tests ensued. And then their coffee syrup was born.
Lanning is as devoted to the natural ingredients in the syrup as the quality of the coffee. Which is why he employs only expert roasters to log every minute of the roasting process for the beans; masters who can use their keen senses to know when the flavors have been brought out and a delicious coffee bean is ready to be ground.
To achieve a unique flavor, Dave teamed up with Carissa Albergaria, a student at Johnson & Wales who is now the manager at Dave's, to find the perfect ingredients and ratios to make the syrup. They found that cold-brewed Brazilian coffee - selected exclusively for low acidity and a nutty, sweet, buttery profile - mixed with cane sugar, was the best combination.
Founded in the state where coffee syrup was first invented, Dave's coffee syrup has added quality to tradition. "We're definitely coffee roasters first," he said. But ones who happen to make a killer syrup.
This syrup is nice and thick so you can pour it over ice cream. It's also great in a coffee-inspired cocktail, or combined with milk for the classic Rhode Island "coffee milk." Here's a recipe right from Dave:
To make the classic Rhode Island Style Coffee Milk you need
Dave's Vanilla Coffee Syrup
Ice Cold Whole Milk
Directions: Fill an eight ounce glass with ice cold whole milk. Add three generous tablespoons of coffee syrup, stir and enjoy.
Note: Although we recommend whole milk for the best flavor, skim and milk substitutes may be used. Note that using milk substitutes tend to mask the true coffee goodness and will bring out more caramel flavor in the syrup.
Dave's coffee syrup begins with nutty, sweet, smooth Brazilian coffee beans, roasted in small batches by hand in a small gas fired roaster - a process that is monitored closely by Dave's roast masters, who follow the progress of every batch, logging the time and temperature details every minute. The finished roast rests for two days before being ground and cold-brewed for 18 hours in a modified stainless steel kettle.
After the brewing, the coffee is drained and combined with pure cane sugar, then boiled for over an hour. It’s during the boiling that the syrup reduces and the sugar begins to caramelize. At the perfect consistency, the syrup is hot bottled into amber glass bottles with metal screw caps. The result not only tastes delicious in milk, on ice cream, or added to a cocktail, but the vanilla adds an extra layer of richness that tastes great in baking.
The syrup is packaged in amber glass bottles, chosen for their ability to protect the product inside from light and UV rays, which can change the components of products, especially food. When you protect the ingredients from harmful rays you extend the shelf life and quality of the ingredients.
Dave's Coffee is a member of the Farm Fresh RI, an organization that unites local Rhode Island food producers with consumers, restaurants and markets. In that vein, it’s not surprising Dave isn’t interested in adding artificial ingredients to his coffee. Every bottle of coffee syrup comes labeled with the words “We Prefer None Of This: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, or Artificial Colors.”
His beans are also roasted the old-fashioned way - by hand. 700 pounds of coffee are roasted each day in 30 pound batches in their facility, using a small gas fired roaster that was custom made for the company by US Roaster Corp of Oklahoma.
To keep the product 100 percent Rhode Island-made, Dave’s uses a bottler in Warwick to produce the syrup’s vintage packaging.
16 ounce amber glass bottle
Cane Sugar, Dave's Cold Brewed Coffee (Water, Fresh Roasted Coffee), Madagascar Vanilla Bean
3 tablespoons (43 g)
Servings Per Container
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Refrigerate well after opening.
"Coffee milk tastes like home sweet home" Katherine Imbrie, Providence Journal, February 17, 1988.